Decor of a different stripe


In home décor, texture — visual or tactile — adds a dimension that mere color can’t. Alternating stripes of matte and gloss are easy to do and resemble ribbons on gift wrap. The stripes in this teen bedroom, done in a soft, sophisticated gray, complement the Parisian-themed décor. Consider this treatment for an accent wall, or stripe the entire room — it’s subtle enough to not overwhelm.


Paint (flat or eggshell finish)
Water-based clear poly, glossy finish
Painter’s tape (at least 2 inches wide)
Laser level with suction cup


Paint room as normal. Let dry overnight.

Prepare to measure stripes. Start from the most visible corner of the room, and mark off intervals in both directions. (The room shown has even stripes of 5 inches. Use the width of each wall to dictate your stripe width, or extend a stripe width through a corner on both walls. Or, alternate narrow and wide stripes.)

Position level to cast a straight line marking off the side of each stripe; affix with suction cup. Tape along the line, with the tape on the matte side of each stripe. Press firmly along the edge where the gloss will be.

With a small roller, paint the clear poly for each glossy stripe. Let dry; paint a second coat and remove tape before fully dry.

— Terri Hunter-Davis